A thorough scrubbing is a must before painting any exterior surface. It removes the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all but the most arid climates. Most contractors clean with pressure washers, but in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the equipment, these can gouge wood, shatter glass, and drive water behind siding and trim. Using a hose, a pump sprayer, and a scrub brush is slower but safer, and just as effective.
Over time, a home exterior is bound to require a fresh coat paint. There are lots of considerations when it comes to estimating the cost of an exterior paint job: the number of square feet to be covered, the level of complexity involved in terms of decorative details to work around, the type of paint you want to use, and whether your home will require one or two coats of paint are all key factors.
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Before you start a painting job either on the interior your home, or the exterior, you’ll need to estimate how much paint to buy. There are various factors to take into consideration when deciding how many gallons of paint to buy for your project. You’ll need the square footage of the area that needs to be painted, while keeping in mind that doors and windows require a different type of paint from the walls.
Painters often tint primer close to the color of the top coat, but Wallis thinks that's a recipe for "holidays," or missed spots. Instead, he tints his primer a contrasting color. "If I can see the color coming through, I know I need to apply more paint," he says. On the cottage shown in this story, he chose a gray-blue primer to go under a peach top coat.
If less than half the old paint is left, however, it may be worth stripping it all off. Guertin gets rid of stubborn remnants using shrouded grinders (like the PaintShaver), infrared paint strippers (such as the Speedheater), or chemical strippers (like Multi-Strip), then smooths the wood with a course or two of sanding. When siding (or bank accounts) can't take the shock of a total strip job, Rich O'Neil, of Masterwork Painting in Bedford, Massachusetts, has successfully hidden rough, well-adhered paint under Peel Bond, a thick primer.